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Darienne

Peeling the cellophane from English cucumbers

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Where I live in Ontario, English cucumbers come wrapped tightly in cellophane and it's such a pain unwrapping them.  Nothing dramatic...just a nuisance.

 

I wondered if anyone had some clever hack to get the job done. 


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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I cut the end off then slide a paring knife between the skin and the wrapper lengthwise slicing thru the cellophane.

Here they're wrapped in plastic but the method would work either way.

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I do what @lindag does, cursing all the way.....maybe they have GMO'd the plant to grow a plastic sheath.🤣

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8 minutes ago, lindag said:

I cut the end off then slide a paring knife between the skin and the wrapper lengthwise slicing thru the cellophane.

Here they're wrapped in plastic but the method would work either way.

That is what I do, @lindag.  But I seem to have a lot of trouble with the sliding the paring knife and slicing through...  I've tried serrated and non-serrated, etc, etc, but I'm always frustrated.  OTOH, my hands are less than working well at this point.  

 

I just wondered if someone, like one of those YouTube culinary hackers, had some brilliant method.  ...oh, not suggesting you are not brilliant, my dear, ...but there's always someone who spends their time dreaming up these things.  :laugh:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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look at "citrus peelers" - any number of cute plastic doohickies with hooks / curved blades / etc.

 

one issue is whether a cut in the skin is not wanted.  if you're going to peel it comma anyway, the point of a sharp knife will cut the plastic longwise pretty quick.

 

I usually get it started, then 'invent and peel the plastic back on itself' - mostly because we typically only use 1/2 at a go....

that way the other half stays 'wrapped'

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13 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

look at "citrus peelers" - any number of cute plastic doohickies with hooks / curved blades / etc.

 

one issue is whether a cut in the skin is not wanted.  if you're going to peel it comma anyway, the point of a sharp knife will cut the plastic longwise pretty quick.

 

I usually get it started, then 'invent and peel the plastic back on itself' - mostly because we typically only use 1/2 at a go....

that way the other half stays 'wrapped'

OK.  I'll do a citrus peeler search.

 

I don't peel English cucumbers and I actually have to slice them in half length-wise to cut them in my food processor...but the cellophane won't cut along with whatever knife I use.  I have to unwrap them first.

 

Also, I use the entire cucumber at once.  In fact, I use three cucumbers to make a salad which Ed loves.  We eat at night a variety of long-keeping salads which I make as we run out of each one and we cut fresh the greens each time.

  

But thanks for the information. 


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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Secondary question: Why in the world does it have to be practically vacuum-sealed? Why can't it just exist and be sold like every other cucumber? I've always wondered about that. 

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3 minutes ago, SusieQ said:

Secondary question: Why in the world does it have to be practically vacuum-sealed? Why can't it just exist and be sold like every other cucumber? I've always wondered about that. 

I think it might have to do with the tender peel being easily damaged which would reduce shelf life considerably.....Persian cucumbers are also sold package in plastic for the same reason.

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3 minutes ago, Okanagancook said:

I think it might have to do with the tender peel being easily damaged which would reduce shelf life considerably.....Persian cucumbers are also sold package in plastic for the same reason.

 

Same coin, other side: I think it's to prevent moisture loss. Note that even the thicker-skinned, fatter, more typical cucumbers sold in US markets (sorry, I don't know what their name is) have a rather lavish coating of wax on them. 

 

The way I remove the plastic from the skinny ones is to cut the end -- the nippley end -- off without going all the way through the plastic. This leaves you with a "tab" of sorts that you can use to start "peeling" the plastic off. I admit that this works only about half the time. If it fails, I resort to @lindag's method to get past the "shoulders" of the fruit, then try to slide the plastic down without tearing it (so as to be  able to twist it closed for subsequent storage), in a motion that would embarrass me terribly if my mother walked in and caught me.

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Google results to question of why plastic wrap...we’re so smart!

 

Plastic wrap serves as an extra layer of protection for cucumbers that have particularly thin skin, like English cucumbers. ... The tight plastic wrapping also helps cucumbers last longer in the fridge at home. It acts as both an insulator to protect against cold injury and prevents and slows dehydration and spoilage.”

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Some places sell bag openers like this, but with a sharper point (I couldn't find the right image):

image.png.76c3e703276b8348adf802cc34ac7fd1.png

A former co-worker of mine (a prep cook) used that to "unzip" them quickly.

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Posted (edited)

I just cut the cucumber in half and pull the wrap off each side. Works well enough for me... your mileage may vary.

 

Sounds like the OP is suffering from a case of dull knife syndrome. This malady is shockingly common. There is a cure, but you can also invest in a cheap letter opener or bag opener like the ones mentioned above. 

 


Edited by btbyrd (log)

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1 hour ago, btbyrd said:

I just cut the cucumber in half and pull the wrap off each side. Works well enough for me... your mileage may vary.

 

Sounds like the OP is suffering from a case of dull knife syndrome. This malady is shockingly common. There is a cure, but you can also invest in a cheap letter opener or bag opener like the ones mentioned above. 

 

 

 

I'd think Darienne and dull knives seldom keep company.

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8 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

I think it might have to do with the tender peel being easily damaged which would reduce shelf life considerably.....Persian cucumbers are also sold package in plastic for the same reason.

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you. 

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7 hours ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

Same coin, other side: I think it's to prevent moisture loss. Note that even the thicker-skinned, fatter, more typical cucumbers sold in US markets (sorry, I don't know what their name is) have a rather lavish coating of wax on them. 

 

 

Thanks for the information. Regular cukes didn't always have that coat of wax on them, at least not for the first 30 years or so of my life. And tomatoes used to taste like tomatoes, etc. Ah well. xD

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Cut off the tip. Cut off the piece you wish to use with the wrap on. Stand the the piece you wish to use on end and slice down the middle with a sharp knife. The wrap will fall off.

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Thanks for all the information.  Sorry.  We had family and I never got back on line.  

 

And @Okanagancook  had such a good solution.  I'm in for that little doohickey.  

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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From the scary to the hilarious. Scary: the fact that this is even a thread. Hilarious: that I own one of those letter openers. It was some promotional item I was given years ago, and I have to say that it's worth its weight in plastic for actually opening letters. But I am not going to use it to open a cucumber. I never thought of an English cucumber as a puzzle in need of a solution, so I will just struggle along with a knife and brute force for that .00001 mil shrink-wrap. Be careful getting slippery cucumber juice on that doohickey. The blade is sharp. @Darienne I will watch for you on the "I will never again...." thread.

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14 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

From the scary to the hilarious. Scary: the fact that this is even a thread. 

OK.  I'll bite.  Why is my thread scary?

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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